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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  October 7, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST

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we're choosing a governor, shouldn't character matter? tonight on "world news," food police. should taxpayers tell people on food stamps, no money for unhealthy food? one big debate tonight. marathon war. america begins the tenth year in afghanistan, fought by soldiers in grade school when it started. lou dobbs, accused of using illegal immigrants on his property. and arguing his side. buyer beware. would you book your december vacation here? what if it really looked like this? "world news" investigates some nasty surprises. and imagining god. americans have four different views. which one do you choose? good evening.
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a kind of gauntlet was thrown down today about taxpayer money and american health. tonight, 43 million americans are receiving food stamps. a record number increasing every month, because of the newly poor. it means 1 out of every 8 of us is getting government help with food. so, today, one of the most powerful players on the national stage challenged national policy on food stamps. in essence, saying, what if all this taxpayer money was used to reinforce national health? and ron claiborne tells us what this is all about. >> reporter: diane, at issue is whether that taxpayer money in the form of federal food stamps should be used to pay for people to indulge in food and drinks that are bad for their health. linda patterson has been on food stamps off and on for ten years. a single mother of six, she gets $627 a month. roughly the average per person nationally. of that, she candidly admits she spends some of it on soft drinks
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for her children. >> i buy gatorade, powerade, sometimes i buy soda, kool-aid and bottled water. >> reporter: but should this be allowed? new york city's mayor says not in his city. >> sugar sweetened drinks are not worst the dos our health and government shouldn't be promoting or subsidizing them. >> reporter: under the new proposal, most soft drinks would no longer be available to the 1.7 million new yorkers using food stamps. it's already prohibited to spend food stamps on beer or cigarettes. but under mayor bloomberg's proposal, soft drinks such as these would also be prohibited. he says it is an effort to call what he calls an epidemic of obesity and diabetes in new york city. numerous studies have linked the growing instance of diabetes and obesity, especially among children to the consumption of soft drinks and junk food. junk food. about 1 in 5 children nationally are overweight. in new york city, that figure is 40%. and it is even higher in poor minority areas where more people rely on the federal food subsidies. >> if you're obese as a child,
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chances are you will be obese as an adult, chances are you'll get diabetes. >> reporter: why limit this to beverages? there must be other sugared foods -- >> there's lots of things. but you can't solve all the problems at once. >> reporter: many people we spoke to today strongly objected to the idea. unhealthy, he says. >> well, he is not -- he is not god and should not play doctor and surgeon general on that. >> these are not all people that need to be told that they should be restricted. there are better ways to make sure there are healthy outcomes. >> reporter: some people may perceive they are being picked on. >> they can still buy full sugared drinks as much as they want. taxpayers of this country are willing to subsidize but want to get something for it. what they want in this case is better fed populous. people who are, have control of their weight, don't come down with diabetes. >> reporter: and new york city is seeking permission from the u.s. department of agriculture
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for a two-year trial to see if this restriction really can reduce obesity and diabetes. the mayor says he expects to get the word within the next 90 days. if that is yes, look for other cities and states to be allowed to do the same thing. >> sure want to know what everybody out there thinks about this, which side are you on? let us know online. thank you, ron claiborne. and, next, as we count down to the november election, 26 days away, a political ad from west virginia is making waves, far beyond that state. it seems like a down home kind of ad, everybody talking, just folks, about the senate race there, but the casting call for the commercial tells a different story. jon karl is in white sulfur springs, west virginia. >> reporter: here today in morgantown, west virginia, real west virginians. >> we better keep joe manchin right here in west virginia. >> reporter: and here? fake west virginians. actors on a set in philadelphia. the ad in question has sparked a firestorm in the west virginia senate race. >> you've seen that nasty ad. if this doesn't make your blood boil, nothing will make it boil. >> reporter: made by the republican party on behalf of john raese, who is running for
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senate against democratic governor joe manchin. the firm used to make the ad put out a casting call, first reported by politico, saying -- "we are going for a 'hicky' blue collar look." telling actors to wear "john deer," it's spelled wrong, "hats, not brand new, preferably beat up." do you think this is insulting? >> insulting? stronger than insulting. >> reporter: what is it? >> you become incensed in west virginia when you're always working and people are stereotyping. they don't even know who we are. >> reporter: one of those who responded, damian muziana. >> and washington joe does whatever obama wants. >> reporter: before playing a west virginia voter, he appeared on "saturday night live," "who wants to be a millionaire" and other commercials. >> it's my rally headset. too much? >> reporter: the republican party has now pulled the ad but the controversy over out of state actors is a blow to their candidate just as he appeared to be taking the lead. it doesn't help that he already
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has been attacked for owning a $2.5 million house in palm beach, florida. for his part, raese says he never wanted the ad to run in the first place. we talked to governor manchin today, he says this gets his blood boiling, this insults the state. this is something, as i said, you know, you should apologize for -- >> he's running commercials about where my children go to school, he's talking about homes that i have. you know, he's a big boy. and he -- this is all obviously just politics. >> reporter: republicans want to quickly get beyond this and get back to their central argument in this campaign, which is that joe manchin would be a rubber stamp for barack obama. and diane, the president is so unpopular here in west virginia that republicans are distributing this sign saying obama says "vote democratic." that's right, this, diane, is a republican sign. >> all right, jon karl. good to see you, in west virginia tonight. overseas now, there is a race to block that chemical sludge from flowing into europe's giant river, the famous
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danube. if that should happen, millions of people could be affect, and alex marquardt is in hungary tonight, and shows us how they're trying to prevent it. alex? >> reporter: diane, you can see how the red sludge cascaded over the banks of this creek that eventually leads to the danube river. they've been pouring tons of chemicals, clay and plaster like this into the water to neutralize the toxins and trap the sludge. and so far, so good. it appears they've been able to dilute the sludge. making it less potent and less dangerous. but the problems are far from over. another problem is the air. you can see here that a sea of sludge swept through this park. about four feet high, leaving several inches of this red toxic mud on the ground. this stuff is expotentially more toxic than the dust after 9/11, and the concern is that once it dries, it could cause serious
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respiratory problems. it's clear it's going to be a long time before any of this is cleaned up and even longer before children can play in this park again, if ever. diane? >> all right, alex. alex, our thanks to you. and, a milestone now for the long war, the u.s. in afghanistan. today, the tenth year of the war begins. more than 1,300 u.s. troops have been killed, and 95,000 are on the ground in afghanistan tonight. and we learned that many of them were just kids, elementary school kids when the war began. and they're still so young. >> i remember, i was in english class, eighth grade. >> in sixth grade. >> actually, i don't remember where i was. >> probably at home watching the news. >> i was actually with my mother and father, they were still together at the time. >> only in sixth grade, though. >> we were sitting on the couch watching the events unfold on the television. >> they stopped news the middle of class and they put on the tv, they put on the news, and i just remember everybody in the class, you know, just went silent. >> i remember thinking then, being only 16, that i needed to do something about this, you
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know, to try to help the best way that i could. >> i wanted to help out and serve my country. >> as they grew up. we also heard about a hero in the war today, an army ranger from one of the most elite units, whose body arrived home. and it turns out 29-year-old sergeant first class lance vogeler was on his 12th tour of duty. and there's something else about his family that moved us so much today. here's tanya rivero. >> reporter: today, sergeant first class lance vogeler came home. army ranger, husband, father of two with a baby on the way, he had been deployed 12 times. four to iraq, eight to afghanistan. a patriotic son with remarkable parents. they are deaf and speak only through sign language. >> my son -- love that little boy.
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wish the world could meet him. just amazing. >> reporter: their youngest son translated for his parents. grief that needs no words. >> shared a lot of love. loved to help people. >> reporter: he also had another family, his band of brothers. and he wanted to stand by them because he believed in the fight. >> the amount of respect he showed people, when leading, that's -- everybody has to choose what type of leader they're going to be. and that is the differences between a good leader and a great leader. lance was an exceptional leader. >> reporter: an exceptional leader and man. and in the eloquent language of his parents, one of images, not words. you touch your cap to signal a young boy. watch his father say what's in his heart. "i loved that little boy." t tanya rivero, abc news, new
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york. and still ahead on "world news," lou dobbs, famous fire brand about illegal immigration, accused of having illegal immigrants work on his land. and he fires back. our reporter gets the boot, asking questions. a "world news" investigation about travel promises and reality. and, how do americans imagine god? do women do it differently from men? and which of the four choices is yours? fabulous! they gave me this great idea. yea? we mail documents all over the country, so, what if there were priority mail flat rate... envelopes? yes! you could ship to any state... for a low flat rate? yes! a really low flat rate. like $4.90? yes! and it could look like a flat rate box... only flatter? like this? genius. priority mail flat rate envelopes. just $4.90. only from the postal service.
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as you know, there's an inflamed national debate right now about undocumented workers, and meg whitman, the republican candidate for governor of california, has contended with questions about her illegal domestic worker, and what is the responsibility of the employer, even if the worker hasn't told the truth? well, tonight, another headline about another well-known name, low dobbs, the commentator who was on the front lines about ill legal immigration. here's david muir. >> reporter: the report published by "the nation" magazine today claims former cnn anchor and radio host lou dobbs, who hos long been outspoken when it comes to undocumented workers and the employers who hire them, has relied on undocumented workers himself. >> at the very same time that lou dobbs was talking on cnn about the possibility of felony charges for employers who hire undocumented workers, there were undocumented workers caring for
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his million dollar show jumping horses and undocumented workers caring for the grounds of his estate. >> reporter: now, in fairness, dobbs says, "i did not hire these people." >> whether he hired them himself or he hired contractors who then hired them, the fact of the matter is that there were undocumented workers. >> reporter: today, dobbs, who has not ruled out a run for political office, took on the claims and the reporter. >> a young lady by the name of isabel macdonald has put together one -- a fairy typical hit piece, a smear piece. did you say that i hired or my firm hired illegal immigrants? >> i am saying that for years undocumented immigrants looked after your show jumping horses, the horses that are owned by the dobbs group, and for years, they looked after the grounds of your estate in west palm beach, florida.
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>> reporter: as she argues, she interviewed five of the undocumented workers themselves. this is one of them. "i am an immigrant who doesn't have papers, but i worked for him because he's a very important person." dobbs says he nor his company ever hired illegal workers, arguing there is a distinction. >> did i or any company i own at any time hire an illegal immigrant of any kind? it's a yes or no question. >> no, but your contractors did. >> reporter: no, but your contractors did, she says. >> no, but your con tracks. so, did anyone con tack the con tack or thes? >> reporter: she says the stable that cares for the horses told the dobbs family that the workers were legal. the landscaper in question, she says, didn't feel comfortable talking about this. but as you know, diane, this will be a debate about whether or not the person at the top is responsible, even though there's a con tack or the in the middle. >> that's right. big questions about all of this. and you can hear more from lou dobbs himself tomorrow morning, exclusive interview on "good morning america." and, coming up, a "world
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news" investigation. we want to see, before you book your christmas vacation, can pictures trick you? stay tuned. 3q
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a vacation bait and switch? we asked andrea canning to investigate. >> reporter: ahh, paradise. breathtaking views, spacious rooms, enticing pools -- the online photos of hotels make pulling out that credit card an easy decision. but what if your dream vacation turned into a photoshop fantasy like in this episode of "golden girls?" >> we have a fresh ocean breeze and a breathtaking view. >> reporter: they're called "photo fakeouts." this hotel in poland exudes old world charm. however, we catch something you didn't see -- this power plant. this posh hotel in miami shows an unobstructed view of the property. when our cameras show up, we notice some things noticeably absent, like this lamp post and traffic light. eric sediman founded, a travel website that exposes manipulative marketing tricks. >> probably the most severe is when they actually go in with
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photoshop and just remove the things they don't want you to see. >> reporter: so we decided to check it out for ourselves, and checked in to this new york hotel, after viewing their modern rooms online. so here we are, not exactly as spacious as the online photo would suggest. they also call this room charming, but i didn't find the dirty towel taped to the window charming, or the cockroach in the picture frame. and come take a look at the bathroom. not exactly the marble bath i was promised. we're with abc news, and we just have a couple of questions for you. we sort of felt like the photos online were a bit misleading. the room wasn't nearly as nice as what we saw online. >> well that's because that's an 07 room, it's a different type of room number. >> reporter: but you said that my room would be charming -- >> no, i'm not authorized -- >> reporter: so before you travel, be sure to visit the watchdog sites, but if what you get still isn't picture perfect, demand a better room. that is, if one actually exists. andrea canning, abc news, new york.
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>> and our website will help you find out about those watchdog sites. and now that field of dreams. you probably heard about phillies pitcher roy halladay and his no hitter. >> a bouncer. ruiz. in time! roy halladay has thrown a no hitter. >> reporter: only the second postseason no hitter in history. the other one, to reach that height? well, of course, don larson, who pitched his postseason no hitter 54 years ago tomorrow. book ends in baseball history. but we noticed something. take a look at these two images. mirror images. hugs with their catchers across the years. larson's catcher, yogi berra said today, "i wish halladay played for the yankees." and coming up, how men and women imagine god differently, and how do you compare in the way you see god to your fellow americans?
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introducing total plus omega-3 honey almond flax cereal. all the nutrition of total, plus 10% daily value omega-3 ala, and a delicious honey almond crunch. new total plus omega-3. did you know that 9 out of 10 americans say they believe in god? but from there, how we imagine god diverges. what we believe about god's temperament, god's presence in our lives divides into very distinct portraits. differences that may say as much
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about us as they do about the divine. and dan harris lets you decide. >> reporter: if you ask children to draw god, you'll get a fascinating variety of images. from a man on a throne to a smiley face to a shining sun to a cross-legged buddah type. turns out, same goes for their parents. in a new book called "america's four gods," two professors from baylor university use polling data to break down our belief in god into four different categories. about 28% of us believe in an authoritative god. >> an authoritative god believes in a god that is postvery judgmental and very engage hd in the world at the same time. >> reporter: they tend to be evangelical and male. 22% of americans, mostly evangelical women, believe in a benevolent god, who is also thoroughly involved in our lives, but is loving, not stern. >> somebody's not there for you, he's always there. that's how i looked a god. >> reporter: 21% of americans believe in a critical god, who
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is removed from daily events, but will render judgment in the afterlife. >> we find a strong tendency fo african-americans, for people who are at lower levels of income and education to believe in the critical god. >> reporter: and 24% of us believe in a distant god, who set the universe in motion, but then disengaged. >> i think he created the world to be a certain way, and he's allowed humans to have this free reign. >> they also tend to be people who say that they're spiritual but maybe not religious. >> reporter: these professors say the type of god in which you believe has a profound impact on your morals and politics. for example, believers in an engaged, judgmental god are more likely to see natural disasters like hurricane katrina and god's punishment. believers in a distant god are apt to be less suspicious of science and more likely to agree with benjamin franklin's
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assertion that god, the supremely perfect, doesn't care one bit for such an inconsiderable nothing as man. >> a person's conception of god is central to how they perceive their world and behave in it. >> reporter: these questions about how we conceive of god unlock our most basic valuables value yules and often tap into our child-like imagination about who, or what, created the universe. dan harris, abc news, new york. >> and we can't wait to see which portrait you choose. go online and tell us at have a great thursday night. we'll see you tomorrow. ght. wec only on 7 tonight, the widening probe into an east bay ticket fixing scheme. two more courthouse workers now under investigation. i'm nannette miranda in sacramento where lawmakers were on the merge of ending the record-long budget stalemate with a vote.
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but i'll tell you why this will not end california's financial problems. >> and a day of action at california college campuses. you'll see why hundreds of students deserted the classroom for the entire day. >> modern medicine that's gone to the dogs. the emerging new stem cell treatment that's now available for your pet. ♪ ♪ >> good evening. the investigation into a ticket-fixing scandal at the fremont courthouse is expanding. >> suspects are accused of using a technology loophole to get away with the scheme. >> vic lee has the story. >> reporter: dan, we have learn two employees of the traffic department of this courthouse in fremont have been suspended in connection with the investigation. that in addition to the two who were arrested earlier. one of them appeared in court today. >> can you speak to us about your


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